What You Need to Know About Uber’s New Driver Agreement
So Uber sent out a new driver partner agreement very early this morning (5am EST). This may have something to do with Judge Chen’s expansion of the class action lawsuit two days ago. Here is a short summary of what I picked up:
- Recommendation of waiting 10 minutes for a passenger to show up, but cancellation fees have been historically paid out only after 5 minutes
- Uber fares do not include gratuity, which should prevent any further lawsuits over tips.
- Insurance: Uber maintains that they are not required to provide you with insurance to cover losses to you or your vehicle. However, they provide this if you have a collision policy.
- Arbitration: they have expanded the wording of the arbitration agreement. Scroll to the bottom to see how to opt-out of the arbitration agreement. I personally have and a lot of drivers are recommending others to opt out.
Here was an email from Shannon Liss:
Dear Uber driver:
After sending this email last night, we learned this morning that, following our victory in court on Wednesday, Uber is now trying to avoid the court ruling by sending drivers a new agreement containing a revised arbitration clause. We are working now on a motion asking the court to block this new agreement. We believe that Uber’s action in trying to limit the class, after the court has certified it, is illegal, and we will ask the court to take measures to stop Uber from doing this.
In the meantime, if you are a current Uber driver, you should feel free to continue working. You will need to accept the agreement in order to continue driving for Uber. But assuming you want to be included in this case, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY OPT OUT OF THE NEW ARBITRATION CLAUSE BY SENDING AN EMAIL TO optout@Uber.com. Include your name and state that you wish to opt out of the arbitration provision. The deadline for opting out is 30 days from when you agree to the new agreement. Although we are going to try to stop Uber from using this agreement to limit the scope of the class in this case, anyone who wants to participate should opt out of the arbitration clause just in case our effort to block Uber from doing this is not successful.
AND THIS FOLLOW UP
One other thing:
We have gotten questions from drivers who are concerned about opting out of the arbitration clause. Uber has assured drivers that they are free to opt out of the arbitration clause. It would be illegal for Uber to retaliate against drivers for opting out of the clause.
So if you are a current driver, you can accept the new agreement in order to continue working. But to be sure that you can be covered by this case, SEND AN EMAIL TO optout@Uber.com, stating your name and that you want to opt out of the arbitration clause.
Below is every detail that I noticed in the agreement (you can read the full text here):
- “It is recommended that you wait at least 10 minutes for a User to show up at the requested pick-up.” Historically, you could cancel for a no-show after 5 minutes, but it is unclear if the cancellation fee is accessed at 5 minutes or 10 minutes.
- “You shall not contact any Users or use any User’s personal data for any reason other than for the purposes of fulfilling Transportation Services.”
- It mentions the Americans with Disabilities Act and laws for Service Animals and that you have to agree to it. Refusing rides to disabled passengers (blind, deaf, handicap) or service animals (regardless of if they are indeed service animals) will “constitute a material breach of this Agreement.” It means they have the right to suspend or deactivate your driver account
- “Company is not responsible or liable for the actions or inactions of a User in relation to you, your activities or your Vehicle. You shall have the sole responsibility for any obligations or liabilities to Users or third parties that arise from your provision of Transportation Services.
- “With the exception of any signage required by local law or permit/license requirements, Company shall have no right to require you to: (a) display Company’s or any of its Affiliates’ names, logos or colors on your Vehicle(s); or (b) wear a uniform or any other clothing displaying Company’s or any of its Affiliates’ names, logos or colors.” This means unless state or local laws require it, you don’t need to put the Uber logo on the car, but it does make it easier for customers to find you.
- It mentions that users need to maintain a minimum rating based on your city and may be deactivated if your rating is lower than the minimum.
- You are responsible to provide your own smartphone or you can rent one from Uber. Uber is not liable for data charges if you use your personal smartphone. Uber recommends “A DATA PLAN WITH UNLIMITED OR VERY HIGH DATA USAGE LIMITS, AND COMPANY SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY FEES, COSTS, OR OVERAGE CHARGES ASSOCIATED WITH ANY DATA PLAN.”
Provision 3 (You and your Vehicle):
- This is an agreement to hold a valid drivers license and “all licences, permits, approvals and authority applicable to you that are necessary to provide passenger transportation services to third parties in the Territory.” In some cities and state, there are special rideshare permits and/or require a business license to operate.
Provision 4 (Financial Terms)
- 4.1 (Fare calculation and payment): It includes this provision:
- You shall always have the right to: (i) charge a fare that is less than the pre-arranged Fare; or (ii) negotiate, at your request, a Fare that is lower than the pre-arranged Fare (each of (i) and (ii) herein, a “Negotiated Fare”). Company shall consider all such requests from you in good faith.”
- You acknowledge and agree that the Fare provided under the Fare Calculation is the only payment you will receive in connection with the provision of Transportation Services, and that neither the Fare nor the Fare Calculation includes any gratuity.
- 4.2 (Changes to Fare Calculation): “Company reserves the right to change the Fare Calculation at any time in Company’s discretion based upon local market factors, and Company will provide you with notice in the event of changes to the base fare, per mile, and/or per minute amounts that would result in a change in the recommended Fare. Continued use of the Uber Services after any such change in the Fare Calculation shall constitute your consent to such change.”
- 4.3 (Fare Adjustment): Company reserves the right to: (i) adjust the Fare for a particular instance of Transportation Services (e.g., you took an inefficient route, you failed to properly end a particular instance of Transportation Services in the Driver App, technical error in the Uber Services, etc.); or (ii) cancel the Fare for a particular instance of Transportation Services (e.g., User is charged for Transportation Services that were not provided, in the event of a User complaint, fraud, etc.). Company’s decision to reduce or cancel the Fare in any such manner shall be exercised in a reasonable manner.” Not much different from what you already know in that Uber can reduce the fare based on inefficient route but it seems as if they have broad powers to change any fare in a “reasonable manner.” Luckily, I haven’t see too many crazy fare adjustments, but usually it is on very long trips.
- 4.4 (Service Fee): You agree to being charged a service fee for using the Uber app.
- 4.5 (Cancellation Fee): You agree to be able to charge a cancellation fee (either user cancelled after the allotted time, or for no-shows)
Provision 5 (Proprietary Rights; License)
- This provision licenses the use of Uber and its services to you and only to you. It is not transferable. It also restricts any attempt to download confidential Uber data, or duplicate or hack the driver app in any way. Uber also retains all intellectual property in the Uber app or services.
Provision 6 (Confidentiality)
- This privision keeps us from sharing confidential information. “Confidential Information includes Company Data, Driver IDs, User Information, and the transaction volume, marketing and business plans, business, financial, technical, operational and such other non-public information of each party (whether disclosed in writing or verbally) that such party designates as being proprietary or confidential or of which the other party should reasonably know that it should be treated as confidential.”
Provision 7 (Privacy)
- 7.1 (Disclosure of Your Information): Subject to applicable law, Company and its Affiliates may, but shall not be required to, provide to you, a User, an insurance company and/or relevant authorities and/or regulatory agencies any information (including personal information (e.g., information obtained about you through any background check) and any Company Data) about you or any Transportation Services. (There are some limits to this clause so review it if you are interested)
- 7.2: Uber may collect information from you and “may be stored, processed, transferred, and accessed by Company and its Affiliates, third parties, and service providers for business purposes.” So Uber can collect our information and have others use it for business purposes. I don’t think they will outright sell our information due to the competitive nature of the rideshare industry, but they may give our emails or contact information out to advertisers or partners, like Shell, or Stride Health.
Provision 8 (Insurance)
- 8.1: You agree to maintain the proper vehicle insurance that satisfies the local or state requirements. The insurance must be in your name or be a listed covered driver in the insurance (such as for an LLC or livery insurance).
- 8.2 (Worker’s Compensation): “You agree to maintain during the term of this Agreement workers’ compensation insurance as required by all applicable laws in the Territory.” This clause is definitely new to me. This only applies if your state or city requires worker’s compensation insurance when operating a vehicle for hire. This clause may relieve Uber’s risk of providing worker’s compensation insurance. This clause was in previous agreements.
- 8.3 (Personal Automobile Insurance): “You understand and acknowledge that your personal automobile insurance policy may not afford liability, comprehensive, collision, medical payments, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, or other coverage for the Transportation Services you provide pursuant to this Agreement. If you have any questions or concerns about the scope or applicability of your own insurance coverage, it is your responsibility, not that of Company, to resolve them with your insurer(s).”
- 8.4 (Uber Insurance): “Company may maintain during the term of this Agreement insurance related to your provision of Transportation Services as determined by Company in its reasonable discretion or as described in a City Addendum, provided that Company and its Affiliates are not required to provide you with any specific insurance coverage for any loss to you or your Vehicle. You are required to promptly notify Company of any accidents that occur while providing Transportation Services and to cooperate and provide all necessary information.” This states that they are not required to provide you with collision insurance outright. It does provide you with a collision policy if and only if you have collision as part of your personal automobile insurance.
Provision 8.4 is rather troubling in that the Uber insurance has no guarantee on insuring losses to you or your vehicle. The Uber insurance policy states otherwise, but this agreement just says Uber is not required to but does. I believe nothing has really changed with or without this provision due to previous material concerning Uber insurance and their collision policy.
Provision 9 (Representations and Warranties; Disclaimers)
- 9.1 (By You): It says that you can represent yourself in accepting this agreement
- 9.2 (Disclaimer of Warranties): You accept it on an “as is” and “as available” basis. They do not “represent, warrant or guarantee that your access to or use of the Uber services, driver app or the company devices.” It means that they don’t guarantee that Uber and Uber related apps and services will be error free.
- 9.3 (No Service Guarantee): “Company and its Affiliates do not guarantee the availability or uptime of the Uber Services or Driver App. You acknowledge and agree that the Uber Services or Driver App may be unavailable at any time and for any reason (e.g., due to scheduled maintenance or network failure). Further, the Uber Services or Driver App may be subject to limitations, delays, and other problems inherent in the use of the internet and electronic communications, and Company and its Affiliates are not responsible for any delays, delivery failures, or other damages, liabilities or losses resulting from such problems.”
Provision 12: (Term and Termination)
- Provision 12.2: They can terminate you without cause with 7 days notice, or immediate with no notice if you breached the agreement or in the event of insolvency or bankruptcy.
Your Right To Opt Out Of Arbitration
Arbitration is not a mandatory condition of your contractual relationship with the Company. If you do not want to be subject to this Arbitration Provision, you may opt out of this Arbitration Provision by notifying the Company in writing of your desire to opt out of this Arbitration Provision, either by (1) sending, within 30 days of the date this Agreement is executed by you, electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your name and intent to opt out of the Arbitration Provision or (2) by sending a letter by U.S. Mail, or by any nationally recognized delivery service (e.g, UPS, Federal Express, etc.), or by hand delivery to:LegalRasier, LLC1455 Market St., Ste. 400San Francisco CA 9410
In order to be effective, the letter under option (2) must clearly indicate your intent to opt out of this Arbitration Provision, and must be dated and signed. The envelope containing the signed letter must be received (if delivered by hand) or post-marked within 30 days of the date this Agreement is executed by you. Your writing opting out of this Arbitration Provision, whether sent by (1) or (2), will be filed with a copy of this Agreement and maintained by the Company. Should you not opt out of this Arbitration Provision within the 30-day period, you and the Company shall be bound by the terms of this Arbitration Provision. You have the right to consult with counsel of your choice concerning this Arbitration Provision. You understand that you will not be subject to retaliation if you exercise your right to assert claims or opt-out of coverage under this Arbitration